By Murasaki Shikibu
From Selections from Tale of Genji & Heike
Translated By Helen Craig McCullough
Japanese, (c. 1010, before 1330), 1994
1. Leisurely, Poetic World
2. Very Immersive Story
3. Complimentary Language Style
4. Interconnected Smaller Events
5. Themes of Complex Relationships
6. Varieties of Cultural Rituals
7. Lush, Exquisite Language
8. Moments of Shock & Humour
9. Decadent, Wealthy Lifestyles
10. Emotional Turmoil from Everyone
Cuisine & Delicacies
Ranked as: Decadent Chocolate Cheese & Cake
The sheer number of poems and highly poetic language emphasizes the artistic nature of this time period. Princes and Courtesans will recite poetry to each other as conversation which can become well, reminiscent of a decadent chocolate cheese cake. It’s a joy to savour these passages bit by bit rather than in a standard timeframe. The details of Genji’s life may also come across as decadent or it could feel like one tragic love story after another with a few odd consequences thrown into the mix. Overall, it’s a deliciously scandalous read that’s also laced with poetic wisdom and the most beautiful language.
Why Visit Here
This is one of Japan’s most beloved epic tales of love, relationships, culture and the slow passage of time. During this book’s historical period, the Heian Period, Japan created its own writing systems: Katakana and Hiragana. We can learn about the leisurely culture of the most elite members of Japan during one of their richest periods for artistry.
The Tale of Genji
A 2 minute presentation style trailer that gives a brief overview of the synopsis.
Off the Beaten Path
Genji Monogatari Sympony - Overture By Isao Tomita
A 2 min. Clip that touches on various chapters in the book, setting them to music. The first few seconds are slightly high pitched, the rest is a softer, beautiful medley.
Some of Genji’s relationships would be questionable by today’s standards. An open mind is certainly needed when reading about some of these scandalous affairs. After stepping back, the larger themes that emerge are well worth the initial surprise at Genji engaging in these affairs.
✓ Book of Basho’s Poetry
✓ Calligraphy Set
✓ Luxurious Robes or Cozy Blanket
✓ Murasaki Shikibu: Genji Monogatari (1987) Directed by Gisaburo Sugii - It’s the most recent film adaptation of this great work & is animated.
Japan : History of Japan's Ancient and Modern Empire
Heian Literature and Japanese Court Women
Writing and Literature in the Heian Period